Can you see it? The annoying bickering, the way your husband folds his towels differently than you, the fact that your dogs do not get along. These are all problems that you could be facing before you say “I do” on your big day. Or it could be problems that you face after you get married.
Either way, many couples these days take premarital counseling to help them work out these problems (along with others), talk about their beliefs and concerns, and find out even more about each other. It is a great tool to utilize, and to feel confident before you walk down the aisle to the altar.
But then why do some have reservations about premarital counseling? It sounds like such a positive thing, right? Well, just like many other things in the world we live in today, people have reservations, concerns, and opinions about various things. And premarital counseling is one of those reservations.
There are pros and cons to each side when it comes to whether premarital counseling is a positive thing or a negative thing. And we hope that by going through this list, you and your sweetheart will be able to have more clarity and come to a conclusion about your decision before the big day rolls around the corner.
The Pros of Premarital Counseling
1. You can take care of problems before they blow up in your faces. Whether it be something small (like your future husband taking extremely long showers) or something rather important (differences in money spending or your obsessive control tendencies), it is great to have someone help and guide you along when dealing/finding out about these issues.
2. You are prepared and ready. If you go through the process of getting good counseling that you need before you get married, you are more prepared for marriage. Hands down. Taking the time by working through each other’s differences and seeing where your marriage is going and where it could be, and learning how to communicate with each other, will help you get through the hard times when the going gets tough.
3. You get a third party opinion. When it comes to working through your problems, it is always better to have someone else listening in and serving as a listening third party. A good counselor will listen to your disagreements or concerns, offer their advice, and then will suggest a solution for the situation. Premarital counselors have degrees in this, remember that. So it is much different than pulling your maid of honor or your fiancee’s mom into the situation and trying to persuade either one of them. A trained counselor knows best and will know how to guide you through the process and listen to both sides.
The Cons of Premarital Counseling
1. A bad counselor + some bad counseling = a guaranteed nightmare. I know I make this sound scary, so please don’t run away, refusing to get premarital counseling because of the threatening equation I typed above. But, it is the honest truth. If you start working with a counselor who does not suit your needs, is stand offish, is not a good listener, or simply gives bad counsel, then you and your other half need to get out of that office as soon as you possibly can. If you continue to hope that it gets better and nothing seems to be getting better, it can be a traumatic experience and hurtful on your future marriage. So take our advice on this: if the counseling is not going well because of the counselor, it is time to get another counselor.
2. It is not free. Although it could be assumed, premarital counseling is not free. And depending on the counselor and their level of degree, it can be downright expensive. So if you and your fiance are seriously struggling financially, then maybe you can turn to your church pastor or ask a friend if they know a priest that will either A) do the counseling for free, or B) do the counseling at a reduced price. If you are serious about doing counseling, there are options, so do not fret!
3. The truth will come out. It happens more than we realize. Couples will go to counseling and find out that their compatibility is simply not working out, and they will separate. So yes, that is a possibility. It can be frustrating for some when they find out the truth about their partner’s problems or past. You might go to counseling and end up having more problems than when you started. So keep in mind, that this is a curse and a blessing. When the truth comes out, there will be lots of hurt and pain. But it can be a blessing to find that out sooner rather than later. Just be ready to handle the truth.
So in the end, it truly is up to you and your significant other on whether not you choose to take premarital counseling. While there are cons, premarital counseling does a lot of good for couples. Counselors teach couples how to deal with these problems and work through them, rather than quit. They teach them how to communicate and how to grow through their differences.
At OurStart, we wish you the best and hope that you find the perfect counselor for you! Someone that will lead you to a lifelong happiness that can only be found in love and marriage.